The legendary American personality will receive an honorary doctor of philosophy degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The honorary doctorate will be presented to Ms. Streisand in recognition of her professional achievements, outstanding humanitarianism, leadership in the realm of human and civil rights, and dedication to Israel and the Jewish people.
Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson, president of the Hebrew University, said, “Barbra Streisand’s transcendent talent is matched by her passionate concern for equality and opportunity for people of every gender and background. Equally important, her love of Israel and her Jewish heritage are reflected in so many aspects of her life and career. We are deeply proud to honor an individual who exemplifies these values which we at the Hebrew University share and uphold.”
A proponent of education, Ms. Streisand established the Emanuel Streisand Building for Jewish Studies on the University’s Mount Scopus campus in 1984. She dedicated the building in memory of her beloved father, Emanuel, whom she praised as “a teacher, scholar and religious man who devoted himself to education.”
Referring to her 1983 award-winning movie, Yentl, in which she played the role of a young woman who enters a yeshiva disguised as a man in order to study Talmud, Ms. Streisand said she was pleased that women could now “pursue Jewish studies without having to disguise themselves as men.”
Streisand’s varying career has kept her at the forefront of the entertainment industry for decades. Born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn in 1942, she lost her father when she was just a child. While still in her teens, the Erasmus High School honors student launched her career as a singer by initially winning a singing contest. At age 19, Ms. Streisand had her Broadway debut, and in 1962, made her debut album, which quickly became the top-selling record by a female vocalist in the United States.
Aged only 28 she had already earned five of the entertainment industry’s most prestigious awards: the Grammy, Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe, making her an icon of western culture and an international favorite.
Among her myriad accolades, she received an Oscar for Best Actress in 1968’s Funny Girl and for composing the music for Best Original Song with Evergreen in 1976. In 1973 the ATV Network production Barbra Streisand … and Other Musical Instruments (pictured top) gained five Emmy Awards for the series which was produced at the ATV Elstree studios in London for ITV in the UK and ITC/CBS in the states.
During her career, she has been honored by the Directors Guild of America and received the National Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton, the Peabody Award, the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement and Kennedy Center Honors. The internationally recognized artist received France’s Legion of Honour from President Nicolas Sarkozy. Additionally, Ms. Streisand is an author and photographer known for her critically acclaimed book, My Passion for Design.
Streisand already holds an Honorary Doctorate in Arts and Humanities from Brandeis University. The latest honour comes from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem which is ranked among the top academic and research institutions worldwide. The university was founded in 1918 by visionaries including Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Martin Buber and Chaim Weizmann.